Vallent specializes in developing software that operators of wireless telecommunications networks use to monitor network traffic, identify bottlenecks, and guard against service interruptions. Its customers include Cingular, Nextel, and China Mobile. IBM says it plans to add Vallent's products to its Tivoli Netcool line.
IBM officials say the deal gives the company key technologies and expertise at a time when an increasing amount of consumer and corporate data is transmitted wirelessly. "We already understand the backbone, this gives us solutions all the way out to the handset," says Lloyd Carney, general manager for IBM's Netcool products.
IBM says the deal will likely close in the first quarter of 2007. Carney says the company will "do everything humanly possible" to retain the bulk of Vallent's 400 employees. "This is a talent acquisition as much as anything," he says.